Toyota rooting to be the first offering cars that can talk to each other and the surroundings image

The largest Japanese company and the (interim) second biggest automaker in the world by sales says it would be the first to mass-market V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication.

These abbreviations refer to a key possibility: have vehicles safely navigate roadways by gathering essential safety information from the environment and others – autonomous cars would benefit tremendously from receiving and sharing data from external infrastructure, assisting their internal cameras and sensors. Numerous automakers, including General Motors, are also hard at work researching the technology but Toyota is the first to say it would already make it available to regular consumers.

The Japanese say that by the end of the year, the “Intelligent Transportation System” (ITS) safety package would become available on three models sold at home in Japan. Unfortunately so far details are scarce, because the company refrained from pointing out the specific autos, how much the technology would cost or if it plans to add it elsewhere, namely to the US and Europe. “Equipping ITS on these three models will make Toyota the world’s first automaker to bring a driver-assist function that uses a dedicated ITS frequency to market,” commented the company in a statement.

The ITS will make use of the 760 megahertz frequency, a standard bandwidth for Japan, to handle data packs between vehicles and the roadway infrastructure. On the long run, if the proper equipment is installed (sensors and cameras on roadways, which is a rather big “if”) vehicle-to-infrastructure communication could prevent accidents. In terms of V2V communication, possible scenarios include enhanced traffic flow and lower fuel consumption.

Via Forbes